The Small Farm Ecosystems Conservancy advocates for small, independently owned farms & ranches as primary stewards of the environment through on-farm education, active demonstrations of sustainable growing practices and ecosystem regeneration programs.
The Challenge of Small, Independent Farms and Ranches
In the rich nation of the United States, ignorance, unimaginative government policies and the sophisticated influence of the global food system is damaging local food systems and forcing out an army of capable, passionate stewards of the environment. Even the self-proclaimed "green" state of California is losing more than 500 small farm lands and their ecosystem stewards every year. To the detriment of the communities they serve and the ecosystems they sustain, small-scale farmers and ranchers are disappearing.
For the sake of future generations and the earth, we believe that governments worldwide should formally recognize the profound differences between privately owned small farms that primarily serve local communities & sustain healthy ecosystems and large farms that primarily serve the global food system.
Why Are Small Farms & Their Landcapes Important?
- ECOLOGICAL STEWARDSHIP: Because you can’t replace small-scale farmers and ranchers and the lands they manage with large-scale farming operations or fallow land and retain the same passionate standard of ecological stewardship. Local delivery emits less greenhouse gases. Local food systems contribute much, much less less packaging and plastics to the waste stream.
- THE FOOD MOVEMENT: Because small farms are essential to the healthy food movement. Small-scale farmers and ranchers are better equipped to regenerate and sustain healthy crop and ranch lands, strengthen ecosystems, utilize the energy of green waste and reverse climate change than any other group of people in the world.
- EMPLOYMENT: Because small-scale farmer & ranchers personally cherish the people they employ. Farm labor works with the farmers on the land, not for the CEO at headquarters. Small farms don't have the resources or time to take advantage of government farm labor programs, which are designed for big farms serving the global food system. Most small farms are family owned and operated. When a farm family’s future depends upon the productivity of the land, they take care of the people they depend on to sustain it.
- EDUCATION: Because kids need to get out to a farm and see where their dinner comes from. Because people of all ages need a better understanding of the relationship between natural farming, nutritious food and healthy, sustainable ecosystems.
- ECONOMY & SECURITY: Small farms contribute greatly to a region’s food security and economic development, as well as the well-being of the people. You can’t have true food security without established small farms serving local communities.